On 16th September 2011 Transparency International Kenya introduced a trophy in the water sector. The trophy made its debut during the second edition of the Water Companies Sports Association (WASCA) games and was presented to the WASCA committee. Mombasa Water and Sanitation Company was given a one year custody of the trophy in recognition of the milestones they have made in addressing governance issues in water service delivery, including signing a development pact with its customers that committed it to jointly achieve certain specific goals. The trophy will be awarded authoritatively during the third edition of the WASCA games in Nakuru after clear and comprehensive benchmarks have been set jointly by the relevant partners.
The WASCA games bring together water service providers from across the country to compete in various sporting disciplines while at the same time play host to a forum for interaction and experience sharing necessary for exchange of ideas critical for sector improvement. It also presents a platform to strategically anchor messages of great importance to the sector and the nation at large.
This year, the WASCA committee in recognition of the work done by TI-K through the Transparency and Integrity in Service Delivery in Africa (TISDA) project, in the water sector, requested that TI-K be part of the National event.
Based on experience and interaction with actors in the water sector over a number of years, the invitation offered a strategic opportunity for TI-K to pass a strong message on governance concerns in the sector through the theme “PARTICIPATION AND TEAMWORK FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE IN THE WATER SECTOR” informed by case study reports and the national water integrity study to be launched soon, acknowledging that this would bring about a responsive water service provider and an empowered community.
The message was carried in banners, the WASCA magazine and in the minds of participating water technicians, metre readers, managers, company directors and CEOs, board chairmen, the Permanent Secretary and the assistant Minister Ministry of Water and Irrigation and even spectating consumers.
The TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL WATER GOVERNANCE AWARD reinforces the message of good governance and also ushers in intercompany competition on governance matters with the anticipation that this prestigious award will provide motivation for water service providers to observe the set good governance benchmarks and as a result improve service delivery.
A meeting is in the offing with the sole objective to develop the benchmarks that will guide awarding of the water governance trophy. Opinions and suggestions from WASCA, Water Service Providers Association (WASPA) and the Water Service Regulatory Board (WASREB) will guide its formulation. TI-Kenya will offer the overall guidance in development of the benchmarks.
Identification and implementation of incentives that give rise to a strong relationship of accountability between water service providers and users will encourage Transparency, Accountability and Participation in water service delivery. In turn water utilities will become stronger and robust in their business fundamentals as well as governance, subsequently contributing to the attainment of the right to water, key development goals and poverty reduction.